Decision House

Common Sense Media says

Marital problems as entertainment? No, thanks.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series focuses on people working on a wide range of problematic personal and marital issues, some of which are disturbing. The therapeutic exercises are packaged primarily to be entertaining for viewers.

Violence

Frequent yelling and arguing between spouses. Some of the therapeutic exercises encourage heated/strong exchanges to encourage communication. Some spouses have a history of domestic violence. Images of abused spouses are shown.

Sex

Regular discussion of issues like infidelity and intimacy problems.

Language

Words like "crap" and "hell" are audible; stronger language is bleeped out.

Consumerism

Some of the show's facilitators are featured on other TV shows, including Lynn Toler (Divorce Court) and psychologist Tara Fields (Intervention). Guest visitors include Dr. Phil.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Includes discussion of how drug and alcohol use has negatively impacted specific marriages.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that each episode of this voyeuristic reality series -- which revolves around couples on the brink of divorce -- includes scenes of the feuding couples yelling and arguing with each other and, at times, with the counselors who are trying to help them. The show goes on to air the couples' dirty laundry, which often includes disturbing problems like infidelity, drug use, and domestic violence (images of abused spouses are shown).

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Hosted by Judge of Lynn Toler of Divorce Court, DECISION HOUSE aims to help couples on the brink of divorce decide to whether they're going to make their marriage work or end it altogether. In each episode, a couple in crisis is locked inside a house and videotaped for three days. During their voluntary 72-hour confinement, psychologists provide counseling and monitor their progress and the couple meets with mediators, financial planners, and, on occasion, family members. The couple also checks in periodically with Toler, who reminds them that at the end of their stay they must decide whether they're going to stay together or get a divorce.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Insults, arguments, violence, and tears are all part of the drama as couples proceed to air their dirtiest laundry. Conversations about infidelity and lack of intimacy are frequent, but even more disturbing are the conversations about spousal abuse, some of which include graphic details and photographs.

The series is full of free-wheeling, talk show-style advice. But aside from offering viewers some limited advice about financial planning and divorce mediation, the show is nothing more than a Big Brother-like exercise in voyeurism that presents the pain of a failing marriage as fodder for reality TV.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether reality TV can go too far. Are there lines that shouldn't be crossed? Who determines where those lines fall? What is the appeal of a reality show like this one? Families can also discuss the difficulties associated with marriage and divorce. Why are some couples able to work out their problems while others end up divorced? How can couples who get divorced best handle the situation for their families?

TV details

Cast:Lynn Toler
Network:MyNetworkTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Decision House was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byTee April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Educator and Parent Written byJared Galczynski June 3, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
I saw this when it was out! No actual sex, but no MAYRA.
Adult Written bymicki762 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I'm walking in Kiki's shoes

I tuned in half way through the show, and OMG!, I heard another woman saying the exact words to her man, that I've been saying to mine for years. Her husband appeared to be as detached and clueless as he could be, the same as mine. Unfortunately, my spouse wouldn't watch.

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